Lots of discussion centers around how to make the Houston “region” better and more cohesive. Any one unit of the region standing alone is not as strong as the cumulative area.
We do have some government operations that function regionally. The Port of Houston and Metro are two examples. The City appoints the majority of Metro Board members with representation from Harris County and smaller cities in the region. The Port has an even number of appointees from the County and the City with a Chairman who must be jointly appointed by both entities.
This begs the question. Why don’t we do more of these types of entities? For example, do we really need two state of the art, brand-new crime labs? One for the city and one for the county? Really? What about a regional transportation authority that even crosses county lines? Wouldn’t that be an amazing concept? There are some entities that are trying to fill these roles.
The Center for Houston’s Future, the Greater Houston Partnership and other regional leadership organizations are focusing on the entire region and recognizing the economic dependence of one upon the other. They are making recommendations for ways to work together, through collaboration and discussion. They are at least serving as entities that convene people for discussion.
Many will claim this is the job of the Houston-Galveston Area Council and it basically does fall within their realm. They do their best to have everyone at the table and try to make plans for an ever-growing region.
Still, let’s encourage our elected leadership to work together in the best interest of the region’s taxpayers!